Political Betting Guide | Betting On Politics

Political Betting Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Betting On Politics

Politics betting allows you to dial up the excitement you feel when the results starting rolling in on the night of a big election. Sporting Index actually began life by taking spread bets on the 1992 general election, which saw John Major hold off the challenge of Neil Kinnock to secure victory. Since then we have continued to offer a wealth of exciting political spread betting markets on all manner of events, and we now offer fixed political odds too. Read on to learn more about the wide range of political betting options that you will find at your disposal.

Election Winner

This is often the most popular fixed odds wagering option when a big election looms large on the horizon. Our traders will analyse the relative strengths, weaknesses and general popularity of all the candidates and then assign a set of odds to each one. It generally starts with a favourite and the odds grow progressively longer until you reach the rank outsider. For example, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives were the odds-on favourites to win the UK general election in 2019, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was an underdog and you could find long odds on more marginal parties such as the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party.

We offer odds on elections from all over the world. It could be based on the winning party or the winning candidate, depending on the country. For example, you might find 1/6 on the New Zealand Labour Party winning the general election, and 4/1 on the New Zealand National Party. In Australia, an example would be 4/6 on a coalition government being sworn in after the election, 6/5 on Labor and 80/1 on any other. In the US, you would find odds on the specific individual that wins the next election – Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Kanye West and so on.

An election winner wager is a fixed odds bet, so you know exactly how much you stand to win or lose. If you place a £10 bet at odds of 6/5, you will earn a £12 profit if successful, or lose your £10 stake if your prediction proves incorrect. Some punters prefer fixed odds betting, as you know exactly where you stand. Other like the wealth of exciting possibilities that political spread betting provides, while some like to enjoy both forms, which is why we cover fixed odds and spreads in great detail at Sporting Index.

Most Seats Index

This is a simple spread betting market on which party will win the most seats at an election. You might see an index of 44-52 on the Conservative Party securing the most seats at a tight UK general election. We would then award 100 points if the Tories won the most seats, and zero points if they failed to do so. You then have two choices: sell at 44 if you think the Conservatives will struggle or buy at 52 if you think they will secure the most seats.

If you were to buy at 52 and the Conservatives did win the most seats, you would earn a profit equivalent to 48 times your stake. That is because the result would be 100, and that is 48 above the price you bought at. Many punters like spread betting because it offers them the chance to make a large profit off a relatively small stake. However, you can also incur large losses if your prediction proves incorrect. If you bought at 52 and the Tories did not win the most seats, you would lose 52 times your stake.

Total Seats

This is another fixed odds wager and it concerns the total number of seats a particular party will secure at an election. For example, you might find odds of 5/6 on the Scottish National Party securing over 47.5 seats at the next general election, and 5/6 on it securing under 47.5 seats. You can then place a bet on over if you think it will outperform expectations, or under if you think the party will struggle on polling day. The total might change in the build-up to the election. For example, if the SNP were to come across well in debates and score highly in polls, the total might be pushed up, allowing you to bet on over 49.5 or under 49.5.

Seat Spread Betting

This is a fantastic example of the excitement that spread betting on politics offers punters when an election takes place. It allows you to pit your wits against our traders by predicting how many seats a particular party will win. Our traders might project Labour to win 283-289 seats at a UK general election. There are 650 seats up for grabs in the House of Commons, so you would then have to decide whether Labour could beat that 289-seat target or fail to reach 283 seats. If you sold at 283 and Labour only managed to win 272, you would win 11 times your stake in profit, as 272 is 11 below the price you sold at. However, if you had bought at 289, you would have lost 17 times your stake, as the result would be 17 lower than the price you had bought at.

By the day of the 2019 general election, we predicted that the Conservative Party would secure 337-343, Labour would win 221-227 seats and the Lib Dems would win 18-22 seats. The Tories actually managed to win 364 seats and they earned their largest majority since 1987. Anyone that bought at 343 would therefore have made 21 times their stake in profit, whereas sellers would have been disappointed. It was a calamity for Labour, as they ended up with just 203 seats. Anyone that sold at 221 would have earned 18 times their stake, while it was a night to forget for buyers. The Lib Dems also struggled, ending up with a mere 11 seats, which was seven below the sell price. However, it was a great night for the SNP, who ended up with four more votes than the buy price of 44.

These markets are really exciting because they offer a huge range of potential outcomes. The amount you win or lose is essentially calculated by how right or wrong you are, and it can be highly satisfying to outfox our traders with your astute predictions. It also keeps you interested for longer. For example, if you had placed a fixed odds bet on the Conservatives winning over 340.5 seats at the 2019 general election, you would have been delighted when the 341st seat was declared for the Tories. However, your interest might then have started to wane. Yet if you had bought at 343, you would have continued to be gripped to the results until the very end, as each extra seat the Tories won would have further boosted your profit, giving you further cause for celebration.

Party Share of Vote

This is another intriguing political spread betting option on an election. It allows you to predict the percentage of the vote that a particular party will secure. You might find a quote of 36-39 on Labour in the build-up to a general election. You could then sell at 36 if you felt they would have a bad night, or buy at 39 if you thought they would perform well. If you sold at 36 and they only received 30% of the vote, you would make six times your stake in profit, but buyers would lose nine times their stake. Many punters like this unique spread betting market, as it does not require you to predict the winner of an election. You simply focus on how well one party will perform.

Overall Majority

This is a popular fixed political odds wager on whether there will be an overall majority at an upcoming election. You might find 13/10 on no overall majority, 2/1 on a Conservative majority, 5/2 on a Labour majority and 66/1 on a Liberal Democrat majority. You simply choose the option that appeals most to you, place a bet on it and hope your prediction proves accurate. You know exactly how much you stand to win or lose, as it is a fixed odds wager. It is a popular option in the build-up to a tight election, in which it is difficult to split the main parties. Several elections do not result in a majority and a coalition government is necessary.

Turnout Percentage Market

This is a spread betting market on the official turnout for an election. The number of people that will actually head to the polls and vote is always a source of great speculation in the build-up to a general election or an event like the Brexit vote or the Scottish independence vote. Young people in particular are often chastised for not exercising their hard-fought right to vote, and it always provides a fascinating sideline for political commentators.

Our Turnout Percentage Index allows you to speculate on the percentage of eligible voters that will actually cast their vote. If the market was priced at 64-68, you could sell at 64 if you felt there would be a low turnout, or buy at 68 if you felt a huge amount of people would actually vote. If you bought at 68 and 98% of people voted, you would earn 30 times your stake in profit, although you would be in for a substantial loss if you had sold.

Next Prime Minister

This is a simple fixed odds bet on who might become the next Prime Minister. You will generally find this market running on a continual basis, regardless of whether there is an upcoming general election or not. We know that punters like to place long-term wagers on the next Prime Minister, even if the current incumbent looks safe. You will often find the leader of the opposition among the favourites to become the next Prime Minister, along with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and various cabinet ministers. The odds will grow progressively longer until you find wild outsiders priced at 200/1 or 250/1.

Next Party Leader

This market allows you to speculate on who might become the next leader of the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and so on. It is a popular betting option among punters, as they enjoy following developments within a particular political party and guessing who is likely to be next in line for the leadership. If the party is in power, you often find the Chancellor, the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary and so on among the favourites, but you can find attractive odds on popular backbench figures and rising stars.

Next Country to Leave EU

There has been a great deal of speculation as to which country will next leave the EU following the Brexit vote. That inspired Sporting Index to run a spread betting market on which country will be the next to leave the bloc. We might price Italy as the 18-26 favourite if anti-EU sentiment is gathering among Italians. You could then sell at 18 or buy at 26. We would award 100 points if the country was the next to leave, and zero points if it was not. If you bought at 26, you would earn 74 times your stake if Italy voted to leave the EU before any other country. However, you would lose 26 times your stake if another country left the EU and Italy remained in it. You will generally find a number of pro-EU countries priced at 0-3, and the odds will grow progressively longer on countries whose membership is not quite so stable.

Special Bets

The most common political bets involve predicting who will win a general election or the number of seats each party will secure. However, the list of potential betting markets goes well beyond those classic options. For instance, in 2020, we offered a spread betting market on which individual would secure the government-appointed press briefing spokesperson role, with several media personalities featured prominently.

There are many more political betting markets that you might see at some point. They include the year of the next general election, the Prime Minister’s exit date, the Irish reunification referendum, the date of the next Scottish referendum, the gender of the next leader of a party, the number of budget announcements in a particular year, the next European leader to leave office, the identity of a presidential election candidate, the identity of the vice presidential nominee, electoral college margin in the US, the popular vote winner, and the results of local and state elections. We regularly launch quirky special political betting markets throughout the year, so make sure you bookmark our political spread betting and political odds pages to stay up to date with all our latest markets.

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